After a winter that has seemed to last forever, the season is finally changing to longer and brighter days. The warm weather is something we’ve all been anxiously waiting for, and we’ll all be heading outside more and more as spring enters full bloom. But is your car ready?
The colder months can have a really strong impact on the performance of your car. Engines have to work harder, tyres can become eroded, and dirt gets in all the nooks and crannys of the car’s chassis. This can affect your car’s performance and make your driving experience a lot less enjoyable. The good news is there are simple things you can do to make sure the winter doesn’t ruin your spring driving. Here are 7 things you must do before the weather changes.
Keeping your engine cool is important all across the year, but when the weather changes from cold to hot, then it can put extra strain on your car. Spring is the perfect time to refresh the fluid levels in your car. Check the levels in your radiator for a start.
Make sure you refill between the levels labelled inside your car. There’s a reason why they say ‘max’ levels! And remember not to dilute it too much without any antifreeze, as you’ll regret that when winter comes round again.
Winter can be tough on your tyres so it’s a good idea to check them now. You should examine the tread depth across the entire width of the tyre, not just the easily visible bits on the outside. Use a 20p coin to check, as the width of the border of the coin is the same as the recommended tread depth.
You should also check the pressure of your tyres too. Most petrol stations have air machines that you can just set the desired pressure and it will inflate the tyres for you. You can see what pressure is needed by checking the little information plate inside the driver door.
Oil is also important for cooling the engine and making it run efficiently. If you’ve had an oil change in the last year or so, then you should be fine. But if it’s been a while, then it might be time you took it for a change. A full service could be a good idea too if you can afford it, but if you can’t, then at least you should get the oil replaced. Have a look online for any local promotions to see if a garage near you has discounts available.
Windows get dirty in the winter. This can be find when its cloudy most of the time and the night draws in quickly. But when the sun hangs in the sky longer, dirty windows can become a safety hazard. You can obviously take your car to the local car wash, but a sponge, bucket of soapy water and a bit of elbow grease is all you need. Make sure you don’t leave any streaks as these will be really clear when the sun hits the car at the right (or wrong!) angle.
It’s not just the performance of the car that needs work, it’s also the comfort. Over winter, lots of dirt and detritus gets trodden into your car from wet and muddy footwear. This can leave your carpets looking more like a forest floor than the footwell of a car!
Get the extension cord and your vacuum cleaner and start removing all the dirt and debris in and around your car’s footwells. Take the carpets out and give them a good beating. While you’re here, vacuum the seats and the gaps in between too.
If you need to cool down after a warm spring walk, then you’ll need to check your air filters. And if you suffer from hay fever, this is a must. Your car’s air filters get full of leaves and dirt. This affects the performance of the car’s air conditioning system, and can also circulate some of that dirt in the air around you. Clearing the filter will also help it remove some of that pollen that can drive hay ever sufferers to tears.
Most importantly, now is the time to plan some trips. Leaving it to the last minute can be fun and spontaneous, but making some plans in advance means you are more likely to do them. Whether it’s a road trip to the beach, countryside or a city break, the good weather is the best excuse you can find to hit the road.
Of course, you can always change your car. If your car is getting on a bit or just not comfortable to drive in the warmer seasons, then maybe it’s time to change? Whether you want something with climate control to keep you cool or more comfort to make road trips more enjoyable, then it could be time to switch.